Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Steward of God's Grace

I was struck by Paul's words in Ephesians 3:2-3, "Stewardship of God' grace." 

Paul was given a stewardship or ability to protect and dispense God's grace to the Gentiles. This could be referencing the gifts that God gave him or it could be referencing the revelation or knowledge of what God was doing. Or maybe both. 

The point is that he was the one being used of God to implement HIS strategy to reach all peoples.

Paul acknowledged that he was simply the messenger of God's truth.  

How are we like Paul in stewardshiping God's gifts? How are we like Paul in dispensing His good news? 

Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 4:10 that whatever gift we have received to serve others; we should be faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. 

When I was in my twenties, I took a spiritual gift inventory and discovered that shepherding, teaching, and discipleship were my top spiritual gifts. I topped out on the test. I didn't even know what that meant at the time. I had to have it explained to me. I still top out on these, but now other areas have grown. 

I am so thankful I was under leaders that encouraged me to grow and mature in my spiritual gifting. I am so thankful they encouraged me to be a good steward of the gifts God gave me and then showed me ways to use them. 

What I discovered through seeking to steward my God given gifts is that they are what bring me into His presence and cause me to live in awe, wonder, and joy the most. The stewardship of His grace gifts allows me to know His grace more and more.

Would you consider praying to be a good steward of God's grace?

Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Favor of God

Every night when I help Papa into bed, I whisper in his ear this prayer, "The LORD bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace." I love this blessing because it is praying for the favor of God for him. 

Every night he says, "Thank you for taking care of me and taking care of us. I love you." Sometimes, he tells me he is glad he is here. 

Once again, I find that God blesses me with how I bless others and I bask in His favor. 

I have been thinking about the favor of God alot since we moved Papa, Mema, and Aunt Jane in. I look back at all that has happened in the last year and all I can do is be in awe of the favor of God. None of it makes sense in what we have been able to accomplish and do. It is beyond us, but we know God showed His favor upon us.

Divine favor implies that the impossible has been made possible. There are so many examples of these divine moments in Scripture. A few of my favorites are found in the stories of these women. Shiphrah and Puah in saving children. Deborah giving wise counsel. Rahab in saving her family. Ruth in providing for Naomi. Naomi in giving her a family. The Widow with a jar of oil in paying her debt. The widow of Zarephath in providing food during a drought. Mary, the mother of Jesus, in giving her strength for the journey. The bleeding woman in receiving healing. The widow with a dead son in restoring him back to her. Honestly, I could make a really long list and I didn't even touch on the men. 

For whatever reason, there are these moments when one of God's children is given divine favor for the moment. Suddenly, they walk into the blessing of God's face shining on them and making a way so that satisfaction and strength enable them to thrive in the situation.
I feel that Isaiah 58:11 describes it well for me. 

"The LORD will guide you always. He will satisfy your needs in a sunscorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden like a spring whose water never fails."

I will be honest. There are days when I think, "God there is no way I can get done what will need to be done. But then as I am in the midst of our life just doing what God allows for the moment, I know the good pleasure of my frame and mind being able to do it despite me. 

But not only that I know the blessing of His good pleasure smiling, but I know the satisfaction and strength of thriving. I can't explain it, but it is so real. I find myself basking in soul satisfaction that He has made it possible for me to water the garden of humans He has given me. I feel His strength of unmerited grace pouring out on me. It is crazy amazing. I feel His shield of grace surrounding us as I am in awe as His favor rests upon us and in us. 

The favor of God is humbling me so much so that when I woke up yesterday morning I saw the word FAVOR spelled out in my mind's eye just as my mind alerted to a new day. I could not help but smile because I felt the LORD'S face shining upon me before I even got out of bed. I prayed His blessing over my family the night before and I awoke with it over me. How like our God! 

Shalom y'all.


The word SAVOR has blessed me alot recently. To savor something is to pause and just allow your senses to take it in. 

When Greg and I go on our walks I never seem to go fast enough. I love certain things so I stop. He no longer seems surprised when I walk into a random yard to touch or smell something. 

This tree is one of my favorite things to savor. I love the texture of the bark. It draws me in and I just want to touch its crinkled bark. I want to smell it and yes even hug it. Just looking at this picture makes me happy. 

Savoring something is as powerful as the gift of gratitude and thankfulness. It brings healing to the mind and body. It awakens us to the beauty around us and if we know the LORD, the awe will bring us to a position of worship.

Savoring someone or something is at the heart of 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."

What if the whole reason God challenged us to live with a thankful heart full of gratitude that took time to savor the moment was because HE knew this would bring healing? 

What if God invites us to savor because it stops our grumbling and complaining? 

Honestly, I don't have to say, "What if!"  I know in my knower! 

When I savor, I see beauty. I feel connected in community and I express worship through thankfulness.

It is so easy to grumble and complain in our mind and with our words, but the better way is to take time to savor the moment or person. 

What do you have to be thankful for? 

How can you show gratitude? 

How can you pause and just enjoy the moment or the person? 

How can you speak life into the moment or the person?  

How can you celebrate your senses and experience things around you through them? 

Today, will you consider taking time to savor something or someone. Fully embrace the gift of your senses and just enjoy the pleasures God has already given you. 

Oh and this tree just happens to be on Cinnamon Street and I love to say this word. Go ahead and say it aloud a few times. It is beautiful that way it rolls off the tongue. Cinnamon! Cinnamon!

Now look at how the bark almost looks like cinnamon sticks. God is so good to us! 

Shalom y’all.